Faculty Articles

A needs assessment of unused and expired medication disposal practices: A study from the Medication Safety Research Network of Indiana.

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Res Social Adm Pharm





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BACKGROUND: Access and availability of unused and expired medication (UEM) due to improper disposal and storage is a serious issue, potentially leading to abuse and environmental concerns.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the extent of the UEM issue in Indiana (U.S. State), identify patient beliefs about UEM, and determine any association between those beliefs and various personal/demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: A needs assessment was conducted among community pharmacy patients. A convenience sample of 200 patients from 15 community pharmacies that are part of a practice-based research network (PBRN) in Indiana completed a survey concerning UEM beliefs and behaviors from Feb-March, 2014. Approximately 40% of patients were aware of a UEM take-back location in their community, although only 15% had utilized a UEM take-back location. Seventy-seven percent of patients were willing to drive to a take-back location to return UEM. Particularly vulnerable populations lacking knowledge regarding UEM and access to proper disposal were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: While states have made efforts to increase accessibility for UEM return, there remains a need for more disposal locations for both non-controlled and controlled medication.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Adult, Aged, Community Pharmacy Services, Culture, Female, Humans, Indiana, Male, Middle Aged, Prescription Drugs, Waste Management

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